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CROSS-NATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN VACCINATION AS UNSELFISH BEHAVIOR

Abstract

Concern for others may play a significant role in decision making. This research examines cross-national differences in the role that concern for others plays in vaccination decisions using surveys and psychological experiments. The research also examines the influence of this concern on predicted cross-national influenza vaccination rates through mathematical modeling. This interdisciplinary research integrates concepts, tools, and objectives from economics, psychology, mathematics, and epidemiology. The research involves an age-structured mathematical model of infectious-disease transmission. The model uses game theory to incorporate age-dependent vaccination decisions and statistical methods to estimate the probability that individuals will choose to vaccinate against influenza, based on responses to survey items on concern for others and perceptions of infection risk. Focusing on the USA, Japan, France, and China, this research assesses how contact patterns and influenza vaccination decision making vary across cultures and how they can inform nation-specific strategies to promote vaccination. The interface of biological systems, indivduals' decision making, and social and cultural influences illuminates the dynamic interplay between an infectious disease and social decision making. The research is likely to discover novel ways to increase vaccination coverage against influenza, as well as other diseases, by understanding pro-social tendencies.

People

Funding Source

Project Period

2012-2016